California Mayors Support Senator Wiener’s SB 35 to Create More Housing

August 29, 2017

Sacramento –  Today Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) announced that Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo have endorsed SB 35, joining early supporters San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, and Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg. SB 35 will create a streamlined approval process for housing in cities that are not meeting their housing goals required by the Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA). This streamlining will expedite the construction of critically needed housing, including affordable housing. 

“Struggling to pay the rent shouldn't be the price of living in California,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “SB 35 — along with other critical state legislation that provides financial support — will allow cities to get affordable housing built more quickly, and help more families escape the pressure of a housing crisis that will only get worse if we do not act.”

“As Mayor of California’s third largest city, San Jose is at the epicenter of the state’s housing crisis. In the last 10 years, California has built less than half the new homes and apartments needed to keep pace with population growth,” said San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo. “SB 35 will be an important tool in our toolkit to meet housing demand, by streamlining the development process for projects that met local planning and zoning codes.”

Mayors Garcetti and Liccardo join early supporters of SB 35 -- San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, and Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg. SB 35 has been approved by the State Senate, and is currently awaiting a vote in the Assembly.

“We cannot afford to wait on affordable housing solutions for our California families,” said San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee. “The California Legislature needs to act now by providing a streamlined approval process for much-needed housing project. This will compliment other measures that provide the state with a steady and consistent source of funding for affordable housing. California needs to come together and meet this great challenge of our time.”

“While California grows, we need to plan and prepare for accommodating diverse populations and more dense development in our existing footprint,” said Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf. “One major challenge in accomplishing this is providing the appropriate amount of residential housing to meet the demand. By streamlining the approval process and reporting requirement, this bill would increase the speed and scale of affordable housing.”

“California is experiencing a severe housing shortage, and working families are being squeezed by increasing housing costs,” said Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg. “Building more housing, particularly affordable housing, is a shared responsibility, and cities must do everything possible to facilitate residential development that is affordable to Californians at all income levels. SB 35 is designed to streamline the approval process for housing development in cities where sufficient housing is not being built. I applaud Senator Wiener for taking on this thorny challenge.”

SB 35 is supported by the State Building & Construction Trades Council, the California League of Conservation Voters, Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California, the California Council for Affordable Housing, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the California Apartment Association, California Association of Realtors, the League of California Community Foundations, the Council of Infill Builders, the League of Women Voters of California, California Asian Chamber of Commerce, Mercy Housing, Bridge Housing, the Mission Housing Development Corporation, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, the Bay Area Council, County of Napa, the San Francisco Housing Action Coalition, Abundant Housing LA, East Bay Forward, YIMBY Action, and many others. For a full list of sponsors and co-authors, view the fact sheet

“I want to thank these leaders of California’s cities for supporting our work to create more housing at all income levels,” said Senator Wiener. “These mayors cumulatively represent millions of Californians, and every day they deal with the devastating impacts our housing shortage has on our environment, our economy, and the quality of life of the people of California. To address our housing crisis, state and local officials must work together on policies that will help create the housing our residents so desperately need.”